Finding The Best Weight Loss Program For You

best weight loss program

Dieting is a pain.  Don’t eat this.  Don’t eat that.  This is healthy.  This isn’t healthy. With all the conflicting information, so what is the best weight loss program for you?

Well, without a true understanding of what you need to do specifically for you as an individual to succeed, most non-customized plans simply advise to cut out everything that you love.  Like chocolate for an example.

I’ve been a health and lifestyle professional and coach for more than 10 years.  I’ve witnessed thousands of people who struggle with their weight so I know exactly how you feel.

negative cycle

You may have a lowered self esteem, little to no energy and might even be scared that you’re on the path to diabetes or heart disease. The worst part is that if you’re like most people I’ve met, then you’re probably extremely frustrated and tired of conflicting information about what to eat or how exercise. You have a busy life; so trying to research the best weight loss program or keep up with these programs is nearly impossible. So I don’t blame you if you’re frustrated.  Nothing is worse than being ready to make a change mentally, yet having no clue how or where to start physically.  You end up throwing your hands in the air and continue down the same path.

You Are Not Alone!

Sixty-two percent of people in the UK are considered to be overweight or obese which is a HUGE number.  So you’re not alone.  But it doesn’t stop there. This epidemic leads to many mental health issues like metabolism aggravating yo-yo dieting and heart disease which is a leading killer. So understanding the problem and taking action has to be your number one priority.

Finding The Best Weight Loss Program For You

Now with years of experience in the industry, I’ve learned so much about;

  • Understanding the problem
  • How to achieve amazing results
  • Finding an affordable solution

A solution that addresses the key factors like hormonal imbalances, lack of nutrient dense food, toxicity, and inaccessible healthy options.  A solution that is so easy to follow and doesn’t take away the foods that you love, like chocolate!

With the right guidance from a specialist like myself, coupled with the right solution, you’ll finally be able to meet your goals and stay there.

Imagine dropping 30 lbs of fat, living life with abundant energy complete with no pain or depressive diets in just 2 months.  It is not only possible but it’s also pretty easy.  Easy if you understand what I’m about to share with you.

weight loss

Top 5 Questions You Need To Ask When Finding The Right Program

Each person is unique so the reason that you may not have seen the results you’ve hoped for is that you may have been trying diets or weight loss programs that are not designed for YOU specifically.  Here are the top things that you must pay attention to when choosing to start a new healthy lifestyle system.

How Well Is Your Brain Communicating Messages To And From Your Body?

Interference to the nervous system can be caused by many factors. If this is not checked properly by the appropriate health professional, like a chiropractor, then all your efforts could be for nothing. Before starting any healthy lifestyle system you’ve got to ensure that the master control system is functionally optimally.

Does This Program Consider Body Movement And Alignment, Mobility or Flexibility?

Your posture and mobility/flexibility has a direct effect on your health.  If your program is not functional in addition to nutritional changes then you may be wasting your time and money.

Click here to read, How Weightlifting Will Help You Lose Weight And Achieve A Lean, Toned Physique !

Is There Attention Given To A Healthy Mindset?

Changes to your lifestyle require a change in mindset as the first step.  Even if you manage to power through some diet for a couple months, the perceived pain will eventually take over and you’ll be right be to your old ways.  You must employ techniques to mold the “inside” version of the new you in addition to the “outside”.

Is The Direction For The Changes In Nutrition Customized For You?

You need to learn what is healthy for you specifically before starting your journey.

  • The quick fix diet
  • Liquid diet
  • Starvation diet
  • Low carb diet

among many others will not help you in the long run. The system should also be easy to implement.  Meal replacements make some programs simple but you will need to make sure that the ingredients are quality and that the macronutrient content is balanced. How do you know?  Ask a wellness expert for advice.

What Is The Measurement Of Success Of This Program?

Simply measuring your weight is not an accurate score of how “well” you are.  Furthermore, if you don’t take an accurate starting measurement, than how can you effectively measure your progress.  You can’t!

Weight Measures: BMI and Waist Circumference

A health scoring system should be used to determine your actual state of health when you start and the same system should used when checking your progress.  I use something called the Wellness Score with our patients which takes into account all of the following:

  • BODY MASS INDEX
  • POSTURE NUMBER
  • CORE STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY
  • BODY FAT %
  • HEART RATE VARIABILITY

If you’ve read this all the way through then you must be serious about starting a journey to improve your health which is awesome.  Success is not far away. However, my advice is follow the guidelines I’ve detailed above to maximize your results and then maintain them once you’ve reached your goals.

Gentle Ways To Welcome The New Year With Self Care

I have declared that this upcoming year will be the year of self care for myself and my family. So, this year, rather than having a specific resolution (that I’m not likely to stick to) I’ve decided to explore different ways to really improve my personal well-being through self care. I’m going to let my intuition guide me to figure out what I need at any given time to provide myself with the best self care possible.

What Does Self Care Mean To Me?

There are four major themes I’m going to focus on this year, which we’ll explore together below. My intention is to let my self care evolve as I make changes and become more grounded and focused.

Here are my four main focuses for a better me include;

  1. Become more gentle with myself
  2. Move my body in different ways, everyday
  3. Remove ‘junk’ from my diet
  4. Grow my list of hobbies – try new activities and visit new places
read

Become More Gentle With Myself

I have begun by allowing myself time to rest (and I don’t mean sleep). By taking time to;

I am providing myself with valuable time to relax and feel satisfied. My goal is to step away from the chaos in the world and work at keeping my life more tranquil and serene. I am working on pushing out the negative thoughts, media outlets, and interactions to maintain a more positive outlook.

I believe that gentleness is the cornerstone of self-care and my mission is to inject gentleness into my daily life, and routine. Even the mundane tasks, to experience them in a more meaningful way.

best stretches

Move My Body In Different Ways Every Day

My goal is to get off the treadmill (of life) and step into different ways to move my body.  I have already begun by incorporating;

I’ve been mindful to listen to my body and really connect with the sensations that are left behind in my body from a good workout. That also includes listening to my body when it is tired and needs a break from exercise.

best diet

Remove ‘Junk’ From My Diet

Over the holidays we tend to loosen our grip on our normal daily eating habits. This usually means ‘junk’ foods start to creep in and become the new “norm”. So, I have started focusing on removing the simple sugars, and foods high in unhealthy fats. I’ve also been more conscious of my portion sizes and making good food choices that are going to nourish my body and provide me with a clean source of energy.

Click here to read, “How To Find The Best Diet For You”.

Remember to be gentle with yourself here – we are not always going to make good food choices and feeling guilty about our choices is not a means to be gentle with yourself. Work towards a healthy balance that still allows some flexibility in your diet so you feel fulfilled and satisfied.

new hobbies

Grow My List Of Hobbies – Try New Activities And Visit New Places

This one is like a mini bucket list for me. Trying new things is exhilarating and it can help to strengthen relationships with our loved ones as we try new things together. My intention is to feel more free and alive with excitement to have the opportunity for new experiences.

Hopefully during this new year, you too will find ways to improve your self-care and infuse gentleness into your daily life. Let’s make this year more fulfilling, successful, and joyful than the last.

Best Diet For Weight Loss

Best diet for weight loss

People are always looking for the best diet for weight loss. But which diets really works? Furthermore, how do you know which diet is best for you?

Society for years have been telling us to avoid fat. In the 1980’s, there was the craze of the low-fat diet. It seemed as if everything in the supermarket was low fat. However, during that same time obesity rates soared in North America.

Then the ‘get moving’ movement came along…..get out and exercise! Excellent advice of course, but then why 20-30 years later are we as a society more overweight than ever? 

Well, think of what manufacturers have to do to their product when they take the fat out? They add SUGAR!  In fact, sugar is everywhere including foods deemed healthy, even milk!

But “Isn’t Sugar Just Calories, Not Fat?”

We’ve all been told about the calories in/calories out formula.  So theoretically, “if I eat and then exercise, I won’t get fat”.

Well, that isn’t completely true. There are a lot of well-researched articles out there that explain this in depth, but the simple bottom line is that sugar is making us fat.

excess sugar

Why All The Hype About Sugar?

Sugar is glucose. Our blood cannot have an excess of glucose. This is why we have a hormone called insulin that regulates it. Insulin is crucial as it allows the cells in our muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose that is in the blood. The glucose serves as energy to these cells. Our bodies are smart. The cells take only what they can use and nothing more.

What Happens When Our Cells Have What They Need, But There Is Excess Glucose In Our Blood?

For the sake of our health, insulin will take care of that! Insulin will convert it into fat, which appears on our tummy, thighs, arms..…all the places we’re trying to ‘burn it off’!

Our fat cells will always take more. They are never satisfied unlike the other cells which only take what they need.

So, our excess glucose is now FAT but sugar isn’t the only culprit.

Eating more protein than your body needs also converts to glucose. In addition foods high in carbohydrates act as a sugar in your body! Rice, pasta, potatoes, breads….all are glucose in your blood stream that insulin must deal with.

But our cells need energy! That is where FAT comes in. Our cells are designed to obtain energy from fat and our brain needs fat to function properly.

healthy fats

Not All Fat Is Bad Fat

Now, we’re not talking about harmful trans-fats. Rather the mono/poly-unsaturated ‘good’ fats that come from vegetables and plants. Think avocados, nuts, salmon and coconut oil.

Also, some saturated fats in moderation are necessary, despite even what national health guidelines may tell us. Saturated fat and cholesterol are essential to brain health and are not to be avoided! Not only are these fats essential to our body but they are low on the glycemic index which keeps your insulin low.

All About The Essentials

When you think about it, we have ‘essential’ proteins, fats and amino acids. “But have you ever heard of an ‘essential carbohydrate’?”

By consuming fat you’re keeping your blood sugar low and are more likely to feel satisfied. Therefore you’re less likely to get ‘hangry’ and make poor food choices. This is because with insulin low and blood sugars stable, your brain will make appropriate choices and you will feel fuller longer.

Fat has all sorts of other great health benefits. So don’t fear the fat! In fact, eat more fat, eat less carbohydrate foods and sugars. Your brain will thank you; not to mention you will have greater energy that is sustained throughout the day.

low carb high fat

My Own Testimonial On The Best Diet For Weight Loss

I started a high-fat, low carb way of eating in the summer of 2015. Within a few weeks I was eating less food in general. Not consuming the copious amounts of food that our society seems to believe we need. Due to reducing sugar-laden foods, my taste buds became more sensitive to pure natural tastes which made meals more enjoyable.

My digestive system is now happier. My brain fog, gone. I lost 40 pounds by spring and have kept it off. Also, when I get hungry, I’m not ‘hangry’ and can prepare wholesome foods for my family. The research I’ve done on fat has proven this to be the best diet for weight loss and has been well worth it. You too may reap the benefits. So fear not the fat!

Are You Eating Enough Colour?

Are you Eating Enough Colour

We’ve all heard the phrase “eat your greens”.  But, what we should really be eating is the rainbow.  Phytonutrients come in all different colours—green, yellow-orange, red, blue-purple, and white.  Different colours contain different compounds.  Each of which have unique healing properties.  In order to promote good health eating a variety of colours is crucial.



What Are Phytonutrients?

The term “Phytonutrients” refers to the several thousand healthful, non-nutritive compounds found in plants. These compounds are referred to as “non-nutritive” because they do not supply calories like proteins, carbohydrates, or fats do.

Despite this, they benefit the body in several ways.  Studies show that people who eat more plant foods have reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In the plant itself, phytonutrients provide many functions.  They protect the plant from pests and environmental stressors, and impart colour and distinctive tastes and smells.

In the human body, phytonutrients;
  • Stimulate enzymes that help the body get rid of toxins
  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Promote healthy estrogen metabolism
  • Stimulate the death of cancer cells

This is all pretty powerful stuff!

The Impact Of ‘Colour’

Organic fruits and vegetables are rich sources of phytonutrients.  Same with legumes, herbs/spices, nuts/seeds, and teas.  Aiming for one to two of each colour per day is a healthy goal to strive for.

Darker-coloured plants are generally higher in phytonutrients.  However, fruits and veggies from the white family do have potent contributions to make.

What Do The Different Colours Mean?

red foods

Red foods contain phytonutrients that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and protect the brain, heart, liver, and immune system.

Examples of red foods:
  • Beets
  • Bell pepper
  • Blood oranges
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit (pink)
  • Goji berries
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
orange foods

Orange foods help protect the immune system, eyes, and skin.  They also reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Examples of orange foods:
  • Apricots
  • Bell pepper
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Papaya
yellow foods

Yellow foods are beneficial because they contain compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  They protect the brain, heart and vasculature.  In addition to your eyes, and skin.

Examples of yellow foods:
  • Apples
  • Asian Pears
  • Bananas
  • Bell Peppers
  • Star Fruit
  • Squash
green foods

Green foods contain compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  They too protect the brain, heart and vasculature, liver, and skin.  In addition, green foods that help with liver function also help balance hormones.

Examples of green foods:
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Green Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Okra
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
purple foods

Blue/Purple/Black foods contain compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  They too protect the brain, and heart and vasculature.  It’s interesting to note that out of all the colours, this is the category that most people eat the least of.

Too little blue/purple can result in issues with the brain.  This is because these foods protect the brain from damage.  In addition they also promote healthy cognition and memory.
Examples of blue/purple/black foods:
  • Berries
  • Eggplants
  • Figs
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins

White/Tan/Brown foods – When thinking of white/tan/brown foods, processed foods may come to mind.  Foods such as;

  • Bagels
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Crackers

Avoid those and focus on foods that are beneficial to your health such as;

nuts and seeds
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Spices
  • Seeds

The compounds in these earthy coloured foods are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  Additionally, like green foods, there are certain compounds that can assist with liver and hormone health.

Examples of white/tan/brown foods:
  • Ginger
  • Apples
  • Cacao
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Coffee
  • Coconut
  • Dates
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Tea

Eating by Colour

Easy Ways To Eat Your Colours

Start by observing the colours you eat.  Humans are creatures of habit.  As such we generally tend to eat the same foods over and over again.  This does our body a disservice.

In order to get more phytonutrients into your diet, you are going to have to mix things up!   It has been estimated that 80% of people are missing one or more of the phytonutrient colours in their diet.  Which sounds likely when you think that most people stick to eating processed foods that are brown, yellow, or white.

Think of a typical breakfast menu – waffles, pancakes, ready-to-eat cereal, sausage, and eggs.  This doesn’t provide very many phytonutrients now, does it?  Opting for a fruit smoothie with blueberries, peaches, raspberries and spinach would be way more beneficial. There’s four of the seven colours done for the day.

Click here for “Breakfast On The Go – Mixed Berry Smoothie” recipe.

Note: When implementing this way of eating, keep in mind that fruits contain sugar.  Even though it’s a natural form of sugar, fruits can still spike insulin levels.  As such, be sure to load your cart with heaps of colourful vegetables and just a few fruit.

Click here to read, “Is It Time To Stop Eating Fruit?”

Simple Ways To Jump Start A Phytonutrient Diet

First, make it your goal to try one new plant food (fruit, vegetable, nut, seed or legume) per week.  Explore ethnic stores for greater variety.  Second, stock up on organic frozen vegetables for easy cooking or organic berries as they tend to retain their phytonutrients well.  Third, keep fruits and vegetables where you can see them.  This will help you to remember to eat them.

Next, keep a bowl or container of fresh cut vegetables on the top shelf of refrigerator.  Always within easy reach.  If you must eat something sweet after dinner, choose a fruit for dessert (fruit kabobs, berry compotes, fruit salads, etc.)  Have dishes with lots of vegetable variety (e.g., soups, stir-fry).

Try and choose darker vegetables over lighter to maximize nutrient content.  Make the switch from mashed white potatoes to sliced carrots or mashed cauliflower.  Also, toss in red pepper, tomato sauce, garlic, onions or broccoli to omelets.

You can also add rinds of oranges or lemons to your water.  Try a little bit of every colour at a salad bar.  Be generous with your use of herbs and spice.  Devote some time at the start of your week to prepare your meals and recipes.  This will make eating whole foods throughout the week so much easier!

Make It Easy!

To make things easier for myself, I re-arranged my fridge to emphasize the food colours.  Forget separating fruits and vegetables.  I now separate things by colour.  It’s made preparing my meals and shakes so much easier.  I open the fridge and grab at least one or two items from each group.  It’s a good reminder to add variety to my dishes and it looks pretty!

It is also a great way to teach kids about the importance of healthy, colourful foods.  Make them choose which colours they want to eat.  Try making it into a little game.  Have a colour chart that they can check off each day to make sure that they are eating all the colours of the rainbow.

Now go on, eat the rainbow.  Your cells will thank you for it!

Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

.

adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

Scientific Key To Anti-Aging

supplement

Years ago, I found myself in the company of intellectuals having breakfast on the outskirts of New York.  During our meal, I noticed one of my colleagues pleading with a friend to take this ‘special supplement’ to help with his health.  This is a very familiar scenario for many health professionals.  Dealing with the outrageous claims made by some supplement companies is, dare I say, a problem.  Firstly, you don’t want to give people false hope when they are in crisis mode requiring medical attention.  Secondly, some claims are just outright false or at the very least misleading.  However, this was a person with a PhD from a very prominent university in America, so I continued to listen.

The term “cellular repair” kept coming up.  After realizing she had been using the supplement herself, I couldn’t help but think that anti-aging could be affiliated as one of the effects of this supplement.  From all the years I’ve known her, I would definitely describe her appearance as a person who hadn’t aged in decades.

I was interested in learning more about this wonder supplement.  Therefore, I began to look into the contents and research behind its claims.  In short, what I came across was intriguing.

The Role Of NAD+ And Sirtuins

Researchers have demonstrated that cellular health is dependent on two things: A coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).  And proteins called sirtuins that are dependent on NAD+.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is a vital coenzyme that exists in all of your cells.  It ensure that your cells function properly.  A coenzyme is like a “helper” molecule.  It binds to other enzymes to help cause reactions at the molecular level (3).  The supply of NAD+ in the body is critical in supporting our health.  Also, it plays an important role in processes like DNA repair.  NAD+ is also used for the following processes and mechanisms:

– Energy production (ATP)
– Chromosome Stability
– Immune Cell Signaling
– Energy Enzyme Activity
– Brain Health
– Longevity

During the aging process, NAD+ levels drop dramatically.  Sirtuins are proteins that depend on NAD+ levels to function.  Sirtuins have been implicated in influencing a wide range of cellular processes.  Examples include anti aging, inflammation, stress resistance, energy efficiency and alertness.  Furthermore, it can also control or influence circadian rhythms and mitochondria (1).  Too sciency right?  Let’s just say, sirtuins are very important proteins.  Regardless if you have a scientific background or not, it’s important that we all try to understand a little more about the chemicals that we put on and in our bodies.  So many of use potentially harmful chemicals without giving it a second thought especially when it comes to the fight against aging.  Click here to learn more about what chemicals are you putting on your face.

Important Discoveries

During an e-mail exchange with the company that produces the supplement, they revealed to me that “there are two notable discoveries worth mentioning.  During the year 2000, it was demonstrated that many critical cellular metabolic processes are NAD+-dependent.  However, in 2013, it was demonstrated that declining NAD+ levels, leading to poor mitochondrial and cellular health, could be reversed.”

Wait what?  The reason we age and eventually die is because mitochondria fail to repair, and our cells die (4).  If research has demonstrated that this process can be reversed, could we theoretically live forever or at least longer?

“Based on these findings, researchers were able to pinpoint natural compounds that help our cells to produce NAD+ and stimulate sirtuin activity at a level we once had.  This supplement is targeting your cellular health to ensure they have what they need to continue to function at an optimal level of health.”

Well that seems promising doesn’t it?  In reality that’s what all this really is, a start with promising test results.  Clinical trials are mostly conducted by the company’s own research scientists own bias may be a factor when interpreting these results.

Clinical Trial Results

The company directed me to their website to read about the results.  Their first full-scale double blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial (the gold standard of drug testing).  Conducted throughout 2016, the results of the study showed that in participants taking the recommended dose of this supplement, NAD+ levels increased from baseline in whole blood by an average of 40%.  This at four weeks and maintained that increase for the duration of the trial.  Forty percent is a significant increase and deserves further investigation.

It’s important to note that a majority of the studies on NAD+ demonstrating positive outcomes like improved muscle function, DNA damage repair, and cognitive function were tested on mice and worms.  They have yet to look at similar effects in humans.  So at best, the results show the potential for significant benefits in humans.

Another thing to note is that you may not necessarily feel the benefits of adequate NAD+ levels in the body.  This because it is hard to feel your cells repairing accumulated damage. However, if what this supplement claims to do is true, it is equally important to recognize the benefits derived at a cellular level.  Even if they don’t manifest themselves in a way that we can feel and see.  For further information about Myths vs Reality when it comes to anti-aging supplements click here Click here for further information about Myths vs Reality when it comes to anti-aging supplements.

Sources:

1. HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/SIRTUIN
2. PREYAT N, LEO O (MAY 2013). “SIRTUIN DEACYLASES: A MOLECULAR LINK BETWEEN METABOLISM AND IMMUNITY”. JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY. 93 (5): 669–80.
3. HTTPS://WWW.ELYSIUMHEALTH.COM/EN-US/KNOWLEDGE/SCIENCE-101/EVERYTHING-YOU-NEED-TO-KNOW-ABOUT-NICOTINAMIDE-ADENINE-DINUCLEOTIDE-NAD
4. J CLIN INVEST. 2013 MAR 1; 123(3): 951–957. PUBLISHED ONLINE 2013 MAR 1. DOI: 10.1172/JCI64125

Dessert Recipe – Paleo Friendly Chocolate Coconut Bars

Looking for a great healthy dessert recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt?  Well look no further, we have you covered!!  Check out Ayla Krasa’s (RHN,CPT) healthy and holistic dessert recipe, you won’t regret it.  This treat is not only delicious but gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan AND paleo friendly.  Seriously?  What more can you ask for??

Ingredients:

Coconut Bar:

2 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
2 tbsp of organic coconut oil (solid or melted)
1/4 cup & 2 tbsp of coconut cream
3 tbsp of 100% pure Canadian maple syrup

Chocolate layer:

1/2 cup paleo-friendly, vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut cream

Instructions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with wax parchment paper
  2. Make the coconut bars.
  3. Add coconut flakes, coconut oil, coconut cream and maple syrup to a bender or food processor.  Blend until you get a wet and sticky mixture.
  4. Pour coconut mixture into the pan and press down and smooth until you get a tightly packaged layer, set aside for later.
  5. Make the chocolate layer using a double boiler method.  Add chocolate chips and coconut cream until fully melted.  Pour melted chocolate over the coconut bars.
  6. Freeze for 40 – 70 minutes.  The longer the bars chill, the cleaner and less crumbly the slices.  ENJOY!!

Recipe courtesy of Ayla Krasa, RHN, CPT

http://www.us.foursigmatic.com/

The Brain in Your Gut

You live your life through your nervous system. Every sound, sight and touch is filtered through your brain so you can make sense of the world. Your perceptions – filtered through your nervous system – are your reality. We hear a lot of talk about your central nervous system – your brain and your spinal cord. But think about the last time you felt sick to your stomach because you were nervous, scared or anxious. This is evidence of a whole other division of your nervous system at work, called your enteric nervous system, which is intrinsic to your gastrointestinal tract. Research is now bringing to light the critical role this system plays in pretty much every aspect of our health and well-being.

Just as we have nerve cells in our brain and spinal cord, we have nerve cells in our intestinal lining as well. In fact, the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system were created from the same tissue during fetal development and they remain connected through the vagus nerve. There are actually over 100 million neurons that line the intestinal walls, which have led scientists to label the totality of them as “the second brain”. Not only is this second brain regulating muscles, immune cells, and hormones, but it is manufacturing 80-90% of the serotonin in our bodies, which is our “master happiness molecule”.

The connection between your gut and your brain is bidirectional. Just as your brain is telling your gut how quickly to digest the food or when to secrete acid in the stomach, the neurons in your gut are also communicating to your brain about the environment they are encountering. When your body is faced with a substance or an ingredient it doesn’t like, it will experience an immune response. Chronic immune activation and resulting inflammation from these stresses can lead to chronic disease, including brain diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

We cannot talk about the brain in your gut without mentioning the role of the complex internal ecosystem that exists inside of us, called the microbiome. It turns out that your microbiome is just as vital to your health as your heart, lungs, liver and brain. It is responsible for multiple tasks, such as aiding in digestion and absorption of nutrients, acting as a detoxification machine, and producing important enzymes, vitamins and neurotransmitters. Perhaps the largest role the microbiome plays is in your immune response. Your gut represents 70-80% of the body’s total immune system. This supports what we have known for a long time: your food choices have a tremendous impact on the state of your microbiome and, therefore, the state of your health.

So what can you do to improve the health of your gut?

1) Choose foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, tempeh, sauerkraut or pickles

2) Avoid sugar, embrace high-quality fat

3) Enjoy wine, tea, coffee, and chocolate

4) Choose foods rich in prebiotics, such as raw garlic, raw leek, raw or cooked onion, raw asparagus

When looking at our health, it is important take a holistic approach. We know our body parts don’t work in isolation. All parts of our nervous system work together to determine how well we function. Taking care of yourself through proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and regular chiropractic care is fundamental to living a healthy life.

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Blog by Guest Author:

Dr. Lesley EvansDr. Lesley Evans is a chiropractor in Kitchener, Ontario. She is the co-owner of Bruce Street Family Chiropractic, alongside Dr. Adam Brookes. She graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, located in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Lesley is passionate about helping others live the best quality of life that they can through chiropractic care and lifestyle choices.

Website: www.brucestreetfamilychiropractic.com

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brucestreetfamilychiropractic 

phone: 519 743 6339 

References:

1) Perlmutter, David (2015). Brain Maker. Little, Brown and Company.

2) Round, June & Mazmanian, Sarkis (2009). The gut microbiome shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nat Rev Immunology (May 9 (5): 313-323.

How to Grow an Organic Garden

grow an organic garden

It’s Spring!! It’s time for spring cleaning of the body, mind and spirit. And it’s also time to clean out your yard and gardens to prepare for the new season.

Have you ever wanted to grow your own fruit and vegetables in your own backyard?

It is super easy, a critical skill to know how to grow your own food and is actually very enjoyable to be outside in the warm summer air tending to something that will bring you such joy, nutrition and flavour in just a few short weeks.

Here is how to get started:

If you already have some garden space, move the soil around as well as you can with a hoe or a rototiller. This will break up the hard soil that has gotten hard over the winter months.

If you do not have a garden yet, choose a space in your yard that has the most sun possible and dig the layer of sod off the ground until you reach your desired space. Then dig the soil around, remove any large stones, rototill the soil or use a hoe to break up the hard soil so that the roots of the plants and seeds you will be planting can actually reach down and root themselves easily.

You can add compost or fresh top soil to the earth that you have just turned over to provide fresh nutrients for your plants to grow.

Choose a garden layout that will allow you to walk easily through your garden or be able to reach everywhere from being on the edge. I always plant my garden in rows because it makes it much easier for planting, weeding and harvesting. But some microgardens do well growing in pods rather than rows. It depends on how much space you have.

The easiest vegetables to grow from seed are carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce, kale and herbs. They are very hearty and produce decent crops with little tending.

However if your looking to make the most out of your garden, click here to read ‘Backyard Medicine – Grow Your Own Natural Remedies”, before choosing what to plant.

Once your soil is soft and you have chosen your seeds, make a shallow row, approximately 1” deep, for your seeds to drop into.

Plant your carrot seeds about 1” apart in the row, as you can imagine how much space each carrot needs to grow and expand to become full sized.

Beets need a little bit extra space because each beet seed will produce 4 beets.

For the lettuce, it depends on the type you are growing – leaf lettuce can be planted fairly close together because it grows just as leaves, but romaine lettuce will form into heads and needs a few inches of space.

The important thing is to keep in mind the amount of space the vegetables need to become full sized (like you would find at the grocery store) and give them that much space to grow.

Once you plant the seeds, cover them with dirt and pack the dirt lightly. You can water them every day until they start to sprout and then keep watching them. Once you can see the actual rows forming, then you can begin to see what each of the plants look like and you can decipher the vegetables you want growing from the weeds that will also pop up!!

Pull out the weeds so their roots don’t crowd out your vegetables’ roots and keep watering them regularly throughout their growing season.

You can also plant already growing vegetables such as tomatoes, because they need a longer growing season than our climate allows for. By purchasing tomato plants that are already well established, you can enjoy their fruits in mid-late August. This is the same for pepper plants, but they are often difficult to grow!! (Or at least I don’t seem to have much luck with them!!)

Good luck with your garden adventures, and be sure to share this hobby with your children. There is no better way to spend the summer months than being outside and enjoying time with Mother Nature.

Vision and Health: Can’t have one without the other

Vision for Health

I had worked at a homeless shelter for 2 years giving free chiropractic care to the down and out in Hamilton. The man in front of me had come in for back pain. I always asked these men the same question at their intake exam:

“What is the vision of what you want to do with your life?” His response tore my heart: “I have failed at everything I have ever tried and I’m not even sure if I want to live anymore.”

As you can imagine if people have LOW or NO vision, like the above example, their investment of time and money into health disciplines like nutrition, exercise, spinal health and relationships will probably be VERY LOW to NON-EXISTENT. Consequently, their health will be very poor, as it was with the above man. The BEST way to get healthy is to NEED good health because of your vision for amazing health. 

If we NEED our bodies to be healthy in order to accomplish our BIG dreams, then we MUST take care of them. 

Vision is EVERYTHING. As a chiropractor for 20 years now, I realize that the MOST important piece of information we can glean from the New Patient exam is precisely what I asked that man: “What is your vision for your life?”  We then ask: “What do you miss MOST due to your poor health right now?”.  Finally we ask, “If this condition was left alone for 5 years and did not improve how would that affect your life?”

EVERYONE has a vision and desire for CRISIS care. This puts us in a place of “no choice” meaning that we MUST fix the problem, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs. Crisis care may be the 30 year old Dad who can’t work as a mechanic due to sciatica. His wife and kids will starve if he can’t get his spine fixed. No choice. It may be the 65 year old widowed grandma who has hip pain and can’t play golf. Her Tuesday and Thursday night golf league is what she lives for and she can’t give it up. No choice. These people will ALWAYS proceed with their corrective care plan. 

The BIG SOLID YELLOW differentiating line is this: once the crisis is gone, do people have a vision for ongoing wellness care? This may mean weekly or bi-weekly adjustments for life. The answer to this question depends on their belief. Will on-going wellness chiropractic in some REAL way help me achieve my dream of being healthy until I’m 90? If they can’t see how chiropractic may help do that then they will NOT continue into wellness care. This same decision making process will determine whether they work out for life and eat healthy food for life.   

The first pre-requisite here is that you have a VISION for good health which means a compelling REASON as to why you need good health. This varies for everyone but could be grandkids, travel, ministry work, sports and golf, taking care of sick family etc.   

The second pre-requisite is understanding how a healthy spine will get you there. A spine that has good mobility and structure IS that key to amazing health in older years. A spine that is immobile, mis-aligned, arthritic and decaying will rob people of their ability to fulfill their dreams especially in later years.

Recently at my clinic my patient, a 60 year old lady, had her adjustment and then sat on the table and announced that she got an award from her Gym. She had hit the 1800 mark.  She had done 1800 workouts over a 13 year period of time. WOW!! It just so happens that she finished 10 years of wellness care with me; close to 300 adjustments. She is one of the healthiest and most joyful people I know. She always comes in with a smile and is praising our team and her husband and her kids and friends. She has a VISION for wellness and believes that chiropractic is a large part of the HOW to be optimally healthy. 

Ultimately as humans we have two choices when a health challenge robs our ability to do what we love to do. The first choice is to LOWER our vision and NOT fix the health issue.  An example would be the 70 year old who decides to quit golf because it causes him extreme back pain every time he plays.

The second choice is to MAINTAIN our vision and dream and to FIX the health issue. This would be the 70 year old man who follows through on a corrective care plan and then ongoing wellness care for 20 years and continues to play golf until he is 90!

The most important question for the patient is: “What vision do you believe will allow you to have the most abundant and healthy life possible?” Life-time wellness chiropractic care OR symptom-based crisis-relief care? If you believe life-time wellness care is best for you then find that chiropractor that also believes this.

Without a compelling vision for your life, you may not need good health. If you lose your health you lose everything. If you lose your vision you also lose everything. They both go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. 

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Guest Blog by Dr. Mark del Cantero

Dr. Mark del CanteroDr. Mark Del Cantero has been a structural corrective chiropractor for 20 years now in Ancaster, Ontario.  He has helped thousands of people to not only restore their health but to maintain it and achieve high levels of health and vitality.  He not only takes an interest in spinal health but also in nutrition, exercise and stress management.  

He graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College as a Chiropractor in 1996 with clinical honours and has since taken all of the core courses in Chiropractic Biophysics Technique.  He completed his  undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Toronto in 1990.

He has been a speaker at various venues including Warrior Coaching and dozens of groups locally in Hamilton.  

He lives with his wife and three children in Ancaster, Ontario.  

You can find Dr. Mark at:

Website: http://www.cedarspringschiro.com/

Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cedarspringschiro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chirocedar

Instagram @cedarspringschiro